Obituaries for Feb. 24, 2012

By Baker City Herald February 24, 2012 09:50 am

Bert Smith

Bertram Arthur "Bert" Smith, 94, of Roseburg, and a former Baker County resident, died Dec. 19, 2011, at his home.

A service celebrating his life will take place Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Riversdale Grange Hall, 4856 Garden Valley Blvd. in Roseburg.

Bert was born on Jan. 28, 1917, in Baker County on the family homestead at Sutton Creek. His parents were Chester and Rachel (Ransom) Smith and he joined a brother, Rodney. The boys’ early schooling began at the country school until it was time to come to Baker for junior high. This is when Bert met Lola Baisley. 

On April 7, 1937, Bert and Lola were joined by high school chums Bud Colton and Doris Long for a double wedding ceremony in Weiser, Idaho.

Bert worked as an ice cream maker at Schreeks Ice and Cold Storage in Baker for a number of years, and the Smiths'  three children, Bonnie, Shirley Ann, and Lorin, were born in Baker during this time.

The family moved to Portland in the late 1940s, and Bert entered Western State College of Chiropractic. Upon his graduation the family moved to Roseburg where he started his practice in 1952 and where they have lived since.

Bert was an active Shriner and member of an old car club also. He and Lola traveled with these groups and participated in many of the parades and functions. After they retired they spent a lot of time at their country property out of Roseburg. Bert and Lola had visited many ghost towns on their travels around the West, which was of a great interest to him.

The 200 acres had the “Hidden Valley Lodge” and a couple of other buildings so Bert began adding and moving buildings until the main street of Buzzard Gulch evolved within the secluded valley. This “community” was the site of club parties, holiday weekends, and family reunions. 

Bert and Lola had a couple of motor homes that were their homes away from home which allowed them to visit friends and family. They always made a point of getting back to Baker County several times a year. In 1987 their children along with the Colton children hosted a 50th wedding anniversary for Bert and Lola Smith and Bud and Doris Colton at the St. Francis Church. Bert and Lola enjoyed a second celebration at the Roseburg Country Club as well.

Bert and Lola were married 71 years at the time Lola died on Dec. 28, 2008.

He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Bonnie Perry in January 2011; son in-law, Hal Perry; and his brother and sister-in-law, Rodney and Pauline Smith.

Bert is survived by his daughter, Shirley Ann, and her husband, Virgil Martin of Sunriver; son Lorin and his wife, Donna Smith of Medford; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.


Joyce Mitchell

Joyce Boorman Mitchell, 91, a Baker City resident for more than 50 years, died Feb. 13, 2012, at Sentara Nursing Center in Chesapeake, Va.

Joyce moved from Baker City in 2007 to be closer to her son Kim and his family in Virginia Beach, Va., and her son Kirk and his family in Washington, D.C.

The memorial service for Joyce, which will be a celebration of her long life, will be at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. in Baker City, on March 5 at 11 a.m. Interment will follow sometime in the coming months at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., where Joyce's husband Carroll Mitchell was buried in 2004. Carroll’s father, Lt. Col. Manton Mitchell, and his mother, Kathleen Carroll Mitchell, are also buried at the same gravesite.

Joyce was born on Aug. 19, 1920, at Great Falls, Mont., to Carl Boorman, a decorated World War I veteran, and Joyce Martin Boorman. Just before the Great Depression, Joyce and her family moved to Oakland, Calif., where her father accepted a job at his uncle’s lumber company. In Oakland, the family grew to include two sons, James and Kenneth. Although the family fell on difficult times economically, Joyce recalled that her father worked hard to make ends meet while maintaining his famous sense of humor and the family’s great hospitality towards others.

With the outbreak of World War II, her two brothers soon joined the Navy. During the war, her brother James died of tuberculosis and her fiancé, Alan, died along with many others when their ship went down near the Philippines. A number of her friends and high school classmates also made the ultimate sacrifice over the course of the war.

As Joyce also desired to serve her country, midway through the war she surprised her parents by announcing she was joining the U.S. Marine Corps. She soon shipped out to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to go through basic training. She completed her service in California, attaining the rank of Sergeant. Contrary to her sons’ oft-stated assertions, she was not, however, a drill sergeant!

Through the GI Bill, she was able to attend college and chose to study psychology at Pacific University in Forest Grove beginning in 1947. Although older than most students, she made many friends on campus. After graduating on June 6, 1950, she took a job as social worker in Hillsboro.

Following two years as a social worker, Joyce had several opportunities to further develop her passion for helping others. She accompanied a healing evangelist named Mary Light to Europe, trained with the American Red Cross and served injured Korean War soldiers through that organization in Camp Pendleton, Calif. In 1953 she trained at the Koinonia Foundation, an international Christian institute near Baltimore. Finally, in mid-1954, she took a position in the U.S. government’s foreign aid operations in Karachi, Pakistan, where she worked for nearly two years. During her foreign service, she also spent considerable time in Lahore, Pakistan, and Dhaka, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

In early summer of 1956, now back in the U.S., Joyce met another World War II veteran named Carroll Mitchell at a Christian camp near Portland. On Aug. 30, 1956, they married in Joyce’s home church in San Leandro, Calif. After honeymooning in Victoria, B.C., he brought her to Baker City for the first time. At first, Joyce was not sure what to make of Baker City since she was used to living in larger cities and being around people from a number of different countries. However, after some time she settled in and began, only half-jokingly, to refer to Baker as “Shangri-La.”

Together, Carroll and Joyce poured themselves into community activities, church, politics and their growing family. They also shared a love for travel and together visited many countries at different times during their 47 years of marriage. Their love for other countries was also seen through involvement in local exchange student organizations, and the many persons from other countries that they invited over for a meal.

Although Joyce frequently referred to herself as "Carroll’s overworked and unpaid secretary," together they worked on many efforts to improve the community and the nation. As veterans, they both were strong supporters of the military and were committed to living out and educating others about the Christian principles on which this nation was founded. They were both very interested in the U.S. Constitution and did not hesitate to voice their disapproval when politicians seemed to stray from following it.

Joyce and Carroll’s love for other people in the community found a number of different outlets.

She and others worked hard to support Carroll when he and two friends founded the Baker Chapter of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship, a non-denominational organization to reach out to businessmen with the love of Christ. Over the course of 22 years, Carroll and Joyce and others they worked with brought many noted speakers to Baker City who shared powerful testimonies of what Christ had done in their lives.

Joyce is survived by her youngest brother, Kenneth Boorman of Cedaredge, Colo., and by two sons. Kim H. Mitchell lives in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife Maggie, their daughter Renee and two sons recently adopted from Ukraine, Alexander and Oleg. Her second son, Kirk C. Mitchell, lives in Washington, D.C., along with his wife Annie, daughter Grace, son James and daughter Lydia.

Joyce is also survived by Carroll’s two sons from a previous marriage: Carroll II (Squeakie) and his wife Kathleen of Baker City, and Matt Mitchell of San Diego.

Memorial contributions can be made to Agape Christian Center through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.